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Poster: RonPrice1 Date: Jul 22, 2015 1:41am
Forum: television Subject: Re: Alfred Hitchcock: Personal Reflections

With no responses in the first 6 months that the above post has been at this Internet Archive Forum, I'll add a personal reflection on the Horror and Gothic film genres.-Ron

In a field of study as well-established as the Gothic, it is surprising how much contention there is over precisely what that term refers to. Is Gothic a genre, for example, or a mode? Should it be only applicable to literary and film texts that deal with tropes of haunting and trauma set in a gloomy atmosphere, or might it meaningfully be applied to other cultural forms of production, such as music or animation?

Can television shows aimed at children be considered Gothic? What about food? When is something “Gothic” and when is it “horror”? Is there even a difference? The Gothic as a phenomenon is commonly identified as beginning with Horace Walpole’s novel The Castle of Otranto (1764), which was followed by Clara Reeve’s The Old English Baron (1778), the romances of Ann Radcliffe and Matthew Lewis’ The Monk (1796).

Nineteenth-century Gothic literature was characterised by “penny dreadfuls” & novels such as Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818) & Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1897). Frequently dismissed as sensational and escapist, the Gothic has experienced a critical revival in recent decades, beginning with the feminist revisionism of the 1970s by critics such as Ellen Moers, Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar. With the appearance of studies such as David Punter’s The Literature of Terror (1980), Gothic literature became a reputable field of scholarly research, with critics identifying suburban Gothic, imperial Gothic, postcolonial Gothic & numerous national Gothics, including Irish Gothic & the Gothic of the American South. Furthermore, as this special edition on Gothic shows, the Gothic is by no means limited to literature, with film, television, animation and music all partaking of the Gothic inflection. For more on this subject go to: For more of my reflections on film in general go to: